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What is the function of glucosamine in cartilage?

The function of glucosamine in cartilage is to stimulate the formation and repair of cartilage. Glucosamine is a chemical found naturally in the body, in the fluid that cushions joints. When taken in supplement form, glucosamine has been found in some studies to reduce the pain experienced by some people who have osteoarthritis. Studies are also exploring whether glucosamine supplements could restore the cartilage in arthritic joints or slow the progression of arthritis. But there is no good evidence yet that glucosamine supplements can provide these benefits. Talk to your doctor before taking glucosamine or any dietary supplement.
Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Glucosamine is an "amino sugar" that consists of glucose (sugar) and glutamine, an amino acid. From a biomechanical standpoint, glucosamine helps cartilage hold water, which is vital to its health. Glucosamine stimulates chondrocytes, the cells in the joint that produce cartilage. The more glucosamine that is available in the joint, the more cartilage the joint will be able to produce, the more the cartilage will be able to hold onto water, and the less likely it will be broken down and metabolized. Glucosamine also has anti-inflammatory properties, including inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme.
The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.